Granville Street north from Helmcken

Granville & Helmcken north

Here’s another of the unidentified Archives images. Like others we’ve looked at where there’s no location or date, so we’re slething out an identification. The location is easy – the street sign has been flipped round, but even the building on the corner is the same.  It looks as if it was vacant then; today it’s one of the few remaining XXX Adult stores on Granville – or anywhere else. The building dates back to 1909. Originally the single storey retail on the corner was built with 125 foot of frontage (the 75 feet to the north were redeveloped with 3 floors in 1960). Maclure and Fox were the architects for T Godman, and the whole development cost $20,000. We’re pretty certain that the developer was Richard Temple Godman, a London businessman from a military family. He was in partnership with a Vancouver-based broker, and built a couple of other investment properties here; he also seems to have had interests in San Francisco which he visited several times, and the Godman family had built the earliest buildings in Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, and operated a cannery there.

In terms of dating the image, that’s a Mark 2 Ford Cortina (1967-1970), so we’re at the end of the 1960s or early in the 1970s. There’s no sign of the Scotiatower in the Vancouver Centre, so it’s before 1975, and the sign on the Vancouver block was removed in 1974, so it’s earlier than that. When it was removed it read ‘Birks’ – the ‘Gulf’ version was a year or two earlier, so this is probably somewhere in the first few years of the 1970s.

In the older image today’s Templeton restaurant was the Fountain Café – ‘Chinese food, fish and chips, steaks and chops’. It was Adele’s Cafe in 1934, in 1956 it was sold to Top Chef Cafe and renamed Top Tops and it became the Templeton in 1996. There a mural on the end wall by artist and activist Bruce Eriksen which dates from the late 1960’s. Leslies Grocery was Sunny Grocery – but the 7up sign was the same one. Q Carpets and Interiors had a huge sign, competing with Belmont Furniture across the street in the Glenaird Hotel – now a backbacker’s hostel. Behind it the Capitol condo tower has filled in a big chunk of sky, replacing the Capitol Theatre. Nobody in the early 1970s was listening to music, or checking their phone as they crossed the street.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 800-2102

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Posted August 1, 2016 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown

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